kings review

Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Kings is the latest, but almost assuredly not the last, cinematic response to the increased visibility and amplified intensity surrounding conversations on police brutality towards black Americans. The Turkish director claims to have been working on the project for over a decade since she attended film school in the United States, and it’s highly likely that a significant factor in getting the film greenlit (and attracting the talent it did) came from the continued prevalence of racially biased policing in the news. If we’re due for a rash of these woke-minded dramas, though, they need to have a firmer, more strident voice than what Ergüven displays here.

The writer/director casts her gaze back a quarter-century to the Los Angeles riots of 1992 following the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King. She’s correct to observe from the outset that the situation was so tense that it resembled a volcano, a comparison she makes by quite literally superimposing faded footage of lava over aerial footage of the City of Angels. It’s heavy-handed, sure, but at least Ergüven is saying something here. The rest of Kings is a muddled mess of narrative threads and half-considered ideas, intimations of intriguing stories that she never gives the chance to develop.

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/FilmCast

fast and furious posterIn this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley take a ride in Greg Mottola’s Adventureland, praise the Damages season finale, are shocked to discover that the new Dragonball movie “isn’t terrible,” reflect on the implications of the Wolverine workprint leak, and discuss the new Terminator Salvation, Year One, and Star Trek MPAA ratings. Special guest Jennifer Yamato joins us from Rottentomatoes.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next MONDAY night at Slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review Observe and Report.

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/FilmCast

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In this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley praise the work of Ron Silver, get excited about Sam Raimi’s return, debate the caliber of American action films in recent years, and wonder exactly why the executives in charge of the SciFi Channel hate their loyal fans. Special guest Brad Brevet joins us from Rope of Silicon.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday night at Slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review Tony Gilroy’s Duplicity.

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